Sunday, March 04, 2012

Best Picture, Best Review

This is late and lame (<-- off to a good start), but I just have to  confess, admit, say, I unashamedly love two things in life: pageants and award shows.   Scoff if you will, but were any of you watching when Miss Teen South Carolina gave this jewel of a speech, immortalized in quotables history?  Because I was.  I was.  And stunned I was, yet with the cognizance that i was a lucky participant in a moment to be forever remembered, cherished, and one that wouldn't have been quite the same had i not been present for the live show.

Anyway, I also love the award shows.  I don't really know why, because so many of them are boring boreville. But there's something about them that i love and that sings a siren song particularly written for me.  Perhaps it's the red carpet preshow. I love seeing the gowns and critiquing or praising them. The Golden Globes got several degrees more entertaining for me when my dear Ricky Gervais hosted them.  But I love the Oscars.  I want to be in the know with the movies nominated.  I want to see what all the fuss is about and form my own opinions.  They may be critically acclaimed, but are they Jen acclaimed? We'll see.  We'll see.

Well, on some of them we'll see.  I try to see as many nominated films as I can to prepare for the show. I mostly aim for the list of best picture nominees.  This year i saw not all, but several.  And in this post I am going to give my opinion, a review, Jen style.   (ok, it won't be in that style, don't worry)

Hugo:  I can't actually give an accurate review of this because I saw it in a hotel room with a wild and wide-eyed Julian brambling about refusing to just let the din of the huge TV peacefully lull him to sleep.  So we saw it in increments, with volume all over the map.   (p.s. is brambling even a word? It feels so right, and yet...)   (ok, i looked it up.  Web definitions says: Eurasian finch.  Sounds about right.)  Also, i could see that watching it in 3-D would have been fun, and i did not see it in 3-D.   But, as for what i did see, I thought it could have been a cute story but felt kind of long for me (maybe because we paused several times and it took us 3 hours to watch it? maybe) and perhaps a bit slow.  I didn't feel very excited watching it.  But it looked nice, and was probably a very cute film.  This review is an A+.  But I give the movie a B+.

The Help:  This was a treat.  I thought it was a very nicely casted movie.  Viola Davis is such a marvelously-looking lady. There is really something special about her. I was pleased she was nominated for best actress.  Bryce Dallas Howard was pretty great as villainess Hilly Holbrook and offered the right combination of smug 60's would-be social-climber and evil troll.  I am extremely interested in the 60's, though i know next to nothing, and the Human Rights movement.  Though I generally quite enjoyed the movie, and this is nothing new, I couldn't help but wish it had been just a bit more like the book, at least as far as the intensity goes. I really felt the intensity of the times while reading the book, and it didn't quite go as deep in the movie. Kind of felt like a fluffed up version. A bit. But still, liked it a lot and would own it. A-

Midnight in Paris:  I mentioned this in January Hodgepodge, but I loved this one. I was surprised and enchanted-- always a good combination.  It reminded me that though there can be things [seasons] that can trample the creative life right out of you [winter],  [2-year-olds], they can't destroy your DNA, and if something is a part of your DNA, then you're solid, it'll never be gone completely, and you can get it back  (i don't know even what i'm talking about anymore. Figures... i start talking sciencey and insta-confuse myself and the world around me).  What i'm saying is, even amidst the dark and life-sucking moments, a spark of reacquaintence with oneself can occur, and it is a vibrant and marvelous thing.  This movie did that for me.  Thanks, Woods.  A, for sheer delightsomeness.  (p.s. someone do a count of completely made-up words for this post, will you?)

Moneyball: Alright, I liked it.  Emphasis on, like. I liked it. It was an interesting story. I like based-on-a-true-story movies.  Who doesn't? But was this oscar-worthy? Was it? I'm pretty sure that was the single factor they based this nomination on. True story??  NOMINATED.   And--Brad Pitt? really? Best actor??  I don't have any strong feelings of loathe for Brad, but I don't have an immense amount of love, either.  I guess i have yet to see something that doesn't feel like Brad Pitt playing make-believe, and losing.  Someone should write up a comparison of Brad and, say, Gary Oldman and teach us a lesson on the differences and what it means to really be your character. Is all I'm saying.  Listen, I know.  Anyway, so it was entertaining. But no one gave me an oscar-worthy performance, not even the story itself.  B

The Artist:  Happily, I saw this days before watching it win the prize. What an innovative charmer! Making a silent film. I applaud. Kudos all around.  As my sister said, watching a silent film at 10pm may not have been the best way to see it, but even then, I definitely raise up my thumbs for this one.  I loved the story, the storytelling, the actors, the sound-factor, the music factor (it won best score, understandably, being a key character).  I took a French & Italian Cinema class in college and learned a thing or two about films and the oldies and the talkies, and so on and so forth.  I love the aspect of having to over-act, or exaggerate to compensate for lack of sound.  I loved having to pay some serious attention to their faces and trying to get a feel for every emotion that may be attempted to be conveyed.  I liked the effort it seemed to require. (p.s. Sean and i just spent the past 10 minutes* discussing the previous statement and whether or not it made any sense at all. I am now going to write a separate dissertation on the phrase "attempted to be conveyed" in all its forms, to be published at a later date. I fought a battle for it, after all. )  I'd like to thank that class for giving me an appreciation for silent films, and the academy for voting this the winner, because I agree, and i am always appreciative of things that agree with me.  A

*ever so slight exaggeration


Scoresbys said...

How you feel about Brad Pitt, that's how I feel about Gwyneth Paltrow. Every movie, every character, oh look, there's Gwyneth pretending to be. . . , acting like . . . . She doesn't thrill me, to say the least. Only saw The Help and Midnight in Paris. I give Midnight in Paris a B+ and The Help an A-. My two cents.

)en said...

Excellent! totally agree about Gwyneth. They probably met at the lame acting school they both attended, and that's why they dated for a time.